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Storytelling Through Clay

Storytelling with Clay began as a special  project in which I (Lucy Sunga) developed and taught a workshop with families with the San Bernardino Community in mind. The goal was to teach an “introduction to hand building with clay” class specifically designed for the youth and a respected adult family member. During the beginning stages of the Covid-19 Pandemic, I found myself struggling to care for my two young children. I had a newborn (2020) and didn't have the emotional and physical support I had with my first child in (2018). I tried to convince myself that I could do my best, but I struggled.  As an adult I felt like asking for help would be a sign of being a burden on others, because I grew up feeling that way as a child. When you are able to work with clay for the first time, it might seem that it will come naturally.  It allows you to be vulnerable and admit that you need direction and support to complete a project. I wanted to focus on creating a safe space and cultivate the habit of normalizing the need to “ask for help.”  In the beginning of the workshop, I asked: “When you think of the word “HOME” what additional words come to mind?”. The list of words shared amongst the group were: family, pets, technology, cartoons, sleep, food, love and unity. From these responses, I gathered that one way we can strengthen our communities is by listening to each other and understanding that we each have a unique story to tell. It poses as a friendly reminder of what is currently important to us as well as what we would like to pass on to our future generations of family, friends, and overall community. Although the City has gone through many changes in leadership throughout its history, I wanted to focus on the present, by asking the questions of “what we can do to currently uplift the youth? How can we instill an importance of Integrity and Accountability so that they can have a promising future?” Curating this workshop has allowed me to think about inclusivity in terms of chosen families, and how to better support those who are most in need, specifically the youth. Oftentimes asking for help at a young age, we are expected to “figure it out,” on our own because no one else “helped” the adult that was responsible for us. Which might be a fact, but how much better would we prepare our future youth if we taught them the social and emotional tools we needed as children. To me, The City of San Bernardino is a hopeful place; it has potential, tenacity, and plenty of hidden gems. Gems being the families that reside within and experience our city on the daily. The goal of this exhibition is to allow time and space for you to reflect on the memories you hold with your chosen family, think of the people that have heard you vent while you had a bad day, the friend that hugged you when you needed to cry, and especially to the friend that lifted you up with confidence and believed in you. This space serves as a reminder that you, the one walking through and experiencing this exhibit, is a vital and important part of our community. 


Kaylee M– My name is Kaylee– I created a pumpkin, but not only a pumpkin, it’s a real-life pump kin, but not real. Its name is Pumpkin Pie.  


Kaylee Marzullo- Mi nombre es Kaylee- Yo construe una calabaza, pero no solamente una cal abaza, es una calabaza de verdad, pero no es verdadera. Su nombre es “ Pastel de Calabaza.”




Lucy J. Sunga was born in Santa Maria, California and has lived in San Bernardino for 21 years. A first-generation college student who earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at California State University of San Bernardino in 2012 with focus in Studio Art with a concentration in Ceramics and a minor in Spanish. Since then, she has been working in recreational instructing capacities in the arts throughout the Inland Empire. She has been teaching Hand Building Ceramics classes at The Garcia Center for the Arts since 2019 and is the newly elected Commissioner for The Arts and Historical Preservation Commission for the 6th Ward for The City of San Bernardino. As an artist and Mother, Lucy hopes to continue to be active in teaching to help make the arts accessible to the residents she serves in her community. 




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